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55 Comunnity Guide

55 Plus Communities and Homes for Small Town Retirement

Many if not most of the 55 plus communities, especially the active adult communities are in small towns. Not just any small town, but the best small towns for retirement. That is because the 55 plus community developers are smart and do their research before deciding to build a multi-million dollar project and they nearly always choose a great small town on the edge of a large metro area. Each state page on our site lists some of the best small towns to live in and also some of the better 55 plus communities.

Quality of Life Can Be High in a Small Town Community

Small communities usually offer a higher quality of life than large cities. This is largely because of the sense of community you will enjoy while living in a small town combined with the slower pace.

By living in a small community, you will avoid the hassle of lots of traffic which you don’t need in your golden years. In addition, you’ll be closer to nature since most small towns don’t have crowded streets, big buildings, with only a few parks here and there.

Living in a small town even makes it easier for you to enjoy some of your favorite hobbies. Depending on where your small town is located, you can enjoy hunting or fishing on a regular basis. Or, you can play softball in your backyard or in the neighborhood park. You can even start your own vegetable or perennial garden in your own backyard. Many small towns do have or share a senior center.

Advantages of Active Adult Communities              
Read about the Advantages of Active Adult Communities


The book Where to Retire says towns for retirement "have many qualities in common that active baby boomers and retirees enjoy: vibrant downtowns, ongoing education classes, volunteer or part-time work opportunities, walkable neighborhoods, excellent health care, non-extreme weather and advantageous tax situations".

 

55 Plus Communities

Many of these communities first appeared in resort areas in Florida and Arizona. Now they are quickly appearing on the outskirts of many large metro areas. 55 plus communities residents must be 55 or older. There communities feature livable home designs features that make a home more livable, that is more comfortable, easier and safer for independent living. If you haven't seen these, you really owe it to yourself to visit a 55 plus Communty and tour their lovely models. Most of the 55+ homes are for sale but some in every community are 55+ rentals.

Some of these are active adult 55 communities and typically feature a large clubhouse that is the center of many clubs and special social and phycial activities that is a center piece of this type community and leads to a healthier retirement. Theese 55 community subdivisions have the master bedroom on the main level and many are ranch, one level homes or low maintenance cluster or cottage homes. Lawn maintenance programs are managed and paid by the Homeowners Association.

An Active Adult community is an age-restricted community that typically requires at least one resident be age 55 or better and restricts anyone under 19 from being a permanent resident. Age restrictions may vary by community.Your friends and family are always welcome to visit, and in most communities, visitors under the age of 19 are able to stay with you for up to 3 months each year.

Pulte/Del Webb is leading developer in this type communty but there are many regional and local builders doing the same. Use the above links to their web sites to locate a community near you and take a visit. Most 55+ active adult communities have recreation centers, sports, swimming, special interest groups, social clubs, arts and crafts, exercise, dance and music. Many have Golf. Many have scenic locations.

 


55+ Homes and Communities Age Targeted But Not Restricted

More builders are building Livable Homes that makes your home more livable, comfortable and safer. These do not have to be in an age restricted community.

Some 55+ communities are like Age-Restricted Communities in that they cater to the same age related interest with one level ranches of master on main, livable homes designs, community center, recreation and activities, etc, but they are not explicitly age-restricted. So you get seniors and sometimes young couples getting their starter home. But the subdivision community offers some of the same features sought by 55+ persons. Variety of properties fall in the category including single family homes, condos, duplexes, townhomes, manufactoried homes, houses in subdivions, villages, parks and other communities.


Small Town Living

Retirement communities and 55 plus Active Adult Community are nice but many small towns offer many benefits to 55+ adults. Some communities do offer small town living.

"The utopian dream of American culture is to go back to the small town, with its folksy relationships and face-to-face relationships"

For benefits of living in a small town.

Vacations and Second Homes for 55 Plus

Many vacation and second homes have been sold over the last few years. Last year about every fourth home sold was a vacation or second home. Most of these were sold to boomers in their 50's. Even though a second home now, most purchasers of these homes have an eye to the future use as a full time or part time retirement home.

On a recent Dec cruise out of Ft Lauderdale Florida, it was amazing the number of people we talked with that spend the Winter at their second home in South Florida but during the Summer goes back to their permanent home in the Northeast US.


Continuing Care Retirement Community

CCRCs are so named because they address the entire continuum of care with healthy seniors moving into independent living apartments, but having the security of knowing they can "age in place" thanks to assisted living and skilled nursing services on site. The number of Continuing Care Retirement Communities nationally has risen sharply over the past 25 years from 274 in the early 1980s to 2,240 in 2005, according to the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

Usually are very expensive however many guarantee lifetime shelter and care with long term contracts that detail the housing and care obligations of the CCRC as well as its costs. This is becoming more popular.

(retirement homes, retirement communities, senior housing, long term care and elder care facilities) Property types include single family homes, houses, condos, villas, townhomes, cottage homes, golf villas, ranch condos and modular, manufactured or mobile homes located in parks, subdivisions, villages, lake property, lifestyle community, waterfront, townships, small towns, and cities, both rural, exurban, exurbia, suburan and urban.